The Divorce Papers

Susan Riegar’s The Divorce Papers throws a very different format at the reader, who will love it or hate it. Instead of a traditional narrative, Riegar chooses to tell the entire story of a young lawyer and her divorce client through emails, office memos, legal rulings, and other printed documentation. At first the formatting bothered me and I wanted more interaction between the characters, but by the end I appreciated the difference. More formal documents helped highlight the legalities of divorce, while the letters and emails emphasized the emotions of divorce.

It’s an interesting story as well. Sophie Diehl, a young lawyer, and her partnered mentor team up on a divorce because of Sophie’s lack of experience on divorce. In fact, she’s only taking on the divorce because the wife is a wealthy daughter of one of the firm’s oldest families requested her after an initial meeting. This divorce deals with a lot of money, which is used as a front for all the hurt emotions felt, which is probably typical for most divorces. Through email, Sophie uses her close friend as a sounding board for her career and personal life and we’re able to see a closeness in their relationship even though they never interact in person in the novel.

This was an interesting read because of the formatting and it really showed how technology doesn’t have to distance us from each other.

Read June 2015

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